Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says government has procured 41 000 water tankers to be distributed to areas with water shortages.
Sisulu says the move seeks to ensure that communities, especially those in rural areas, comply with the sanitation measures required to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
She has briefed the media in Pretoria as part of the National Command Council’s update on the coronavirus lockdown and programmes.
South Africa has the highest number of infections in Africa with 1 170 confirmed cases and one death recorded. There have been 31 recoveries from the infection.
Minister Sisulu has called on anyone with complaints of water shortages to call the toll free number 0800 200 200.
“To ensure water supply to all our people, we have gone ahead with procuring water tankers and we’ve procured 41 000 of them. The greatest number is the one that goes to the Eastern Cape; 2 342; 1 700 for the Free State; 1 2130 for Gauteng; 4 274 for KZN O(KwaZulu-Natal); 1 200 for Limpopo. We are still working on Mpumalanga to provide them with 600 and North West with 600.”
We wish to send a clear message that we are not seized with mass evictions. What we are seized with is saving the nation. The threat and risk of Coronavirus in our informal settlements is real, and again we have to make haste, so that we don’t find ourselves overwhelmed. pic.twitter.com/iYpWu1ukEk
— Lindiwe Sisulu (@LindiweSisuluSA) March 28, 2020
Sisulu says her department is working on the logistics to provide alternative accommodation to residents from some areas to relieve congestion and allow for social distancing.
“We have identified where we will be able to provide them with alternative accommodation. And these areas are Duncan village in Mdatsane, Kennedy road in Durban, Kosovo in the Western Cape, Dunoon in the Western Cape and Diepsloot in Gauteng. We’ve identified those areas as areas where we would like to negotiate with the residents there to find a way in which we can put them in alternative accommodation called transitional residential areas.”
In the video below, Ministers brief the media on the nationwide lockdown status update.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has promised that social grants will be paid on time as planned.
Minister Zulu says provisions for transport beyond the stipulated times will be made. She also said transport will be arranged to take the elderly and people with disability to different pay points.
The O.R Tambo district municipality, in the Eastern Cape, says it will work with councillors, churches and traditional leaders to ensure regulations are followed during the payments next week.
The district municipality consists of vast rural areas with thousands of SASSA beneficiaries. There is also concern from communities about the travel regulations and how it will affect them buying groceries.
Mayor Thokozile Sokanyile says they are working with the Post Office to ensure grants are distributed to rural areas.
“All people who are paid on the 30 and 31st must be issued a permit to minimise the flow people who will be coming. We should also look at the numbers of the people who are kept at the hall and being seated speciously,” Sokanyile says.
Minister Zulu has reiterated that under no circumstances are children of divorced parents allowed to shuttle between their parents during the national lockdown.
Zulu says her department has fielded calls since the lockdown commenced from divorced parents.
“Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities during the lockdown period is prohibited. This is to ensure that the child is not exposed to any possible infection while moving from primary caregiver premises to the other.”
“The child shall remain in the custody of the parent with whom the child was with when the lockdown was affected. The parent who is not with the child during the lockdown period in order to maintain a personal relationship with the child may communicate on a regular basis with the child in other manners including telephonic and other.”
‘2020 academic year won’t be lost’
Both the departments of Basic Education and Higher Education have vowed to ensure the 2020 academic year is not lost.
Currently, the country is on a nationwide lockdown and schools and centres of higher learning are on recess.
Ministers Angie Motshekga and Blade Nzimande say they will ensure that their learners and students sit for the year-end exams, as planned.
In the video below, is an interview on how you can manage stress during the lockdown: